In honor of my eastern European ancestors and past life as a Gypsy, this very special Halloween post is all about the traits, costumery, and ways of the ancient Gypsies. Fortune telling, palm reading, amulet carrying, and whimsically nomadic, the Gypsies originated in India and traveled the world, branching off into tribes all over Europe, namely Hungary and Italy, and Russia (ooh, Russia <3).
Gypsy women were once recognized by their unique dress. The traditional Gypsy costume is a long pleated skirt that uses several yards of material. Bright chiffon, calico, and metallic fabrics are preferred over colors that are muted or dull. Gold coins may be fashioned into necklaces or dangling earrings. Puffed-sleeved blouses with low necklines are popular.
all images from e-vint.com
They are notoriously reticent about sharing their secrets and love to cast nets of intrigue and cause confusion. Their very lifestyle depends upon such skills.
You are an exceptionally clever person. You have an intelligence that stems from your shrewd ability to observe and judge character in almost any given situation. Your home is your castle, and you like to carry parts of it with you. What may look like a mess to others represents the many special things you love to be surrounded by. A healthy debate allows you a chance to cleanse your soul of any negative emotions. Even the most heated discussions can make you feel much better. Once an argument is over, you carry no resentment or bad feelings for the other party, unless, of course, your partner has resorted to “dirty” tactics. If so, you will never completely forgive it. If you decide to pardon your offender, your trust is lost. You cannot forget; that is just the Gypsy way!
It is difficult to keep secrets from you. If you suspect that someone is withholding knowledge from you, it will drive you crazy until you find out exactly what it is. You are precise, probing, and possessive. You have little respect for a hypocrite or anyone who is “holier than thou.” Sweet and endearing words cannot fool you, for you know the true nature of the people you are dealing with.
When it comes to your own life, you reveal very little. You have many secret feelings and thoughts. Some of these are wonderfully creative ideas that could make you a fortune one day. You are industrious, with wonderful potential. You are shrewd and crafty, but you may lack the confidence to develop your creative ideas and “flesh them out.”
You may tend to wash your hands often. You simply cannot tolerate dirt or filth. This cleanliness reflects an old Gypsy belief that body pollutions can affect your spiritual nature or attract negative entities. You are not a neatness fanatic. On the contrary, you probably aren’t the world’s finest housekeeper. Your home may be cluttered, but you tend to wash more often than most people.
You like to study varied forms of esoteric knowledge. It’s important that you concentrate on one special interest. You are versatile and receptive, but you need to be aware that maintaining too many interests can preclude your success in any one. Your life among the Gypsies gives you special insight, and makes you something of an enigma.
(from my past-life reading by Susan Shephard)
Charms and amulets were used by Gypsies to protect themselves and their families from negative energy and to attract positive energy. Symbols were painted in red on fruit bark and then buried at the base of the same fruit tree. From Patrinella Cooper, a modern-life Romany Gypsy who grew up in a tent and traveled in a horse-drawn wagon:
So to embody the ways of the Gypsy, you need to dress like one, right? Here are some of my favorite Gypsy shops on Etsy. Enjoy! <3
And a modern-day Gypsy performance for you to twirl your skirt to:
Update: check out As Time Goes By for ways to modernize the gypsy fashions.